Category: College of Engineering

‘Iron Man’ plants are supercharged by nanotech power

March 16th, 2014 in 2014, College of Engineering, James Collins, New Scientist, Newsmakers 0 comments

jcollins7New Scientist
James Collins, College of Engineering

The story of Iron Man, in which a person gains spectacular abilities by infusing their body with technology, is still just fantasy. But the first Iron Plants have been made. A team of biologists and engineers has made bionic plants that have been upgraded with an injection of nanotechnology…

Expert quote:

“This is a marvellous demonstration of how nanotechnology can be coupled with synthetic biology to modify and enhance the function of living organisms. The authors show that self-assembling nanoparticles can be used to enhance the photosynthetic capacity of plants.”

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Philanthropy, innovation and public health

March 3rd, 2014 in 2014, College of Engineering, Muhammad Zaman, Newsmakers, OP-EDs by BU Professors 0 comments

zaman-new-profile-picThe Express Tribune
By Muhammad Zaman, College of Engineering

Pakistan’s record in maternal and child health is not particularly exemplary. Recent reports indicate that Pakistan has the highest infant mortality rate in the world. Maternal mortality rates are also among the highest globally…

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Free the Labs! The Biopunk Revolution Is Here

February 27th, 2014 in 2014, College of Engineering, James Collins, Newsmakers 0 comments

jcollins7Ozy
James Collins, College of Engineering

Molecular biologist Ellen Jorgensen was working in a struggling department at a biotech company in 2009 when she opened her local newspaper’s “News of the Weird” section to a story about people who were trying to use fluorescent proteins to make yogurt glow green — all from the comfort of a makeshift lab in their closet. Typically, lab access is restricted to biotech employees, university students and faculty members. But these renegades had beaten the system…

Expert quote:

“At best, [DIY biologists] will make a mess; at worse, they will get sick or make someone sick.”

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Making academia attractive

February 24th, 2014 in 2014, College of Engineering, Muhammad Zaman, Newsmakers, OP-EDs by BU Professors 0 comments

zaman-new-profile-picThe Express Tribune
By Muhammad Zaman, College of Engineering

If we ask our bright undergraduates, who are soon to graduate, if they would like to become academics, most would say no. While I do not expect students anywhere in the world to overwhelmingly flock to become men and women of letters, but in Pakistan, academia does not appear high on the radar of most. While the number of students who are interested in graduate education is rising, few pursue it to develop skills of inquiry. It is largely to improve their chances for a better paying job…

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Reaching out with science

February 17th, 2014 in 2014, College of Engineering, Muhammad Zaman, Newsmakers, OP-EDs by BU Professors 0 comments

zaman-new-profile-picThe Express Tribune
By Muhammad Zaman, College of Engineering

Many of our current high value challenges, including energy, infrastructure, water, environment, health and food production require advancements in technology and improvement of our national technical workforce. It is not to say that technology alone can answer all of our national problems. Rather, technology has a role to play, just as better policy, social development and nation building…

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Bionic Hand Gives Amputee Touchy-Feely Sensations

February 6th, 2014 in 2014, College of Engineering, Jason Ritt, Newsmakers 0 comments

JRitt_001TechNewsWorld
Jason Ritt, College of Engineering

An amputee was able to feel sensations in a prosthetic hand temporarily wired to nerves in his upper arm…

Expert quote:

“A device might work great at first — maybe a few months or even a couple of years — but is the surgery and cost worth it if it stops working or needs to be removed after that? For the real application, it is not enough to show improved sensation, it is also important to demonstrate sustained, robust operation.”

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A microchip for metastasis

February 6th, 2014 in 2014, College of Engineering, Muhammad Zaman, Newsmakers 0 comments

zaman-new-profile-picMIT News
Muhammad Zaman, College of Engineering

Nearly 70 percent of patients with advanced breast cancer experience skeletal metastasis, in which cancer cells migrate from a primary tumor into bone — a painful development that can cause fractures and spinal compression…

Expert quote:

“The beauty of this system lies in its simplicity and elegance. I believe that this microfluidic system will be easy to scale to study processes that are important yet have been too difficult to quantify. Overall, I think this is a major breakthrough to understand complex processes, underscore the importance of mechanics and identify novel pathways for treatment.”

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Diabetes, Alzheimer’s Research May Yield Cures

February 5th, 2014 in 2014, College of Engineering, Edward Damiano, Newsmakers 0 comments

edamiano7WebProNews
Edward Damiano, College of Engineering

A new research project valued at roughly $230 million may yield the answers for curing Alzheimer’s, diabetes, lupus, and arthritis. Eight of the largest U.S. pharmaceutical companies are collaborating on the project with the National Institute of Health and the U.S. government to conduct extensive research on Alzheimer’s patients…

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Why the Promise of Cheap Fuel from Super Bugs Fell Short

February 5th, 2014 in 2014, College of Engineering, James Collins, Newsmakers, Technology Review 0 comments

jcollins7Technology Review
James Collins, College of Engineering

The sell-off of synthetic biology pioneer LS9 goes to show that making biofuels from genetically engineered microbes is harder than though has yet to deliver economically…

Expert quote:

“In most cases, they were university lab demonstrations that weren’t ready for industrialization.”

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Kenya: Drug Companies Must Make Quality Medicines

February 4th, 2014 in 2014, College of Engineering, Muhammad Zaman, Newsmakers, OP-EDs by BU Professors 0 comments

zaman-new-profile-picAllAfrica.com
By Muhammad Zaman, College of Engineering

One does not need to spend a lifetime in the global health-care sector to appreciate that substandard or counterfeit drugs are a major public-health hazard…

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